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Youth Reflect on Giving Their First Workshop

The most experienced youth at The Food Project work hard throughout the year to hone their public speaking and facilitation skills in order to present workshops. Part of this process includes giving a "Levels of Oppression" workshop to younger youth participants.

Recently, youth interns from our North Shore region gave their first such workshop. Afterwards, they reflected on what it all meant. Here is what they had to say. 


Adesuwa, 17, Lynn, MA

I recently helped facilitate a workshop on The Levels of Oppression to the current Dirt Crew youth members. The workshop discussed the different levels of oppression and how to use appropriate vocabulary while talking about these issues. The levels of oppression discussed in the workshop were: institutional, cultural, interpersonal, and personal. I, along with the other facilitators, went into depth about these terms and how to use them in the correct context by giving broad examples along with personal.

It's very interesting to think about how just a year ago I was in the audience receiving this workshop and now I'm an intern facilitating this workshop. It's just funny to see how much change can happen in one year. I'm a pretty confident person, yet speaking in front of people made me a little nervous. But now, public speaking isn't an issue for me anymore. I can just do it without doubting my abilities. I've grown to become more comfortable with facilition and all aspects around it. My facilitation skills have improved greatly and I cannot wait to see how far they can go. I want to be able to speak in front of others without hesitation and without second-guessing myself. There's always room for improvement and I look forward to it.


Jeasebelle, 17, Beverly, MA

I am currently an academic intern. My favorite thing about being an intern is that I get to facilitate workshops to student and adult groups from the community and other youth from the The Food Project. In my last workshop, a group of us introduced the four levels of oppression. The four levels of oppression are personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural.

To help the youth better understand the levels of oppression, we showed them a couple of videos and had small group discussions. In these small group discussions, four interns were paired with about 4-5 youth audience members. Each intern had a statement to share and after reading each statement to the youth we had them guess the level of oppression it fell under and why they thought it fell under that level. By the end of the small group discussions the youth were able to relate events that had occurred in their life to the different levels of oppression. Ever since learning about the levels of oppression, with events that have happened or are happening, I question myself as to what level it falls under. I have had conversations with friends and family about these different levels and stories and events that fall under them. Learning and having conversations around oppression are important. Oppression still exists today.

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